A/N: I have worked on this chapter for longer than I care to even admit, jfc.

To those who are new, I would like you to know that this is a sequel to my fanfiction The Meaning of Fear which is a drabble-like story and would suggest you find that to read first. I guess, in a way, you can read this as a stand alone, but there may be something I'll miss explaining from the first story and, yeah.

Just a reminder: This is a romance story focused on Pitch and a new OC (featured in the Epilogue of The Meaning of Fear) so things will be quite . . . different. Still a T rating, but you have been warned. And April will still hold her part in Pitch's life, but she's not the main focus.


The Dreams of Insomniacs

Old Fears


~ In her anger she clutched Rapunzel's beautiful tresses,
wrapped them twice 'round her left hand,
seized a pair of scissors with the right, and snip, snap,
they were cut off, and the lovely braids
lay on the ground. ~

"Don't be foolish!" Pitch huffed angrily to himself as he folded his arms across his chest. "I am not wearing that pink, feathery monstrosity!"

"Puh-leez?" April begged, her hands clasped in front of her face as her wide, fern-green eyes threatened with tears. She was quite displeased with the fact that he wouldn't play tea party with her the way she wanted.

Pitch Black sat in a small, pink, plastic chair at the round table, his knees bent at an awkward angle for him to fit and his back arched uncomfortably. Set together on the table's surface was a green Princess and the Frog tea set based on the Disney movie. He would often pick at the hard plastic leaves forming the shape of the cups.

April held up the feather boa with two hands. "But it's sparkly! Like your sand!"

The five-year-old menace, as so Pitch liked to put it, is a blonde, soft curly haired child who was just tall enough to reach above his knee. Pitch had known her for almost a year now, having met her the previous Halloween when he was out scaring some college students at a party in the woods. Tagging along with a particular group of students was April, the then-four-year-old in a pink bunny costume who, unlike her grown-up companions, didn't run when Pitch revealed his monstrous form from the shadows of the night.

And she never ran from him since.

"April Joy Darling," Pitch said sternly, to show that he was serious. "I am not going to play tea party with you if you make me wear that horrid thing!" He motioned towards the other feather boa on April's bed. "I must wear the purple one."

The child scoffed, dropping the feathers by her feet. "But you wore that one yesterday! Wear pink today. It's pretty and looks nicest with black."

Pitch scoffed back. "Do not insult me! Pink is a disgusting color and whoever came up with it should be eaten by wolves. Purple works better."

Puffing out her reddened cheeks, April pouted and sat back in her chair with a huff. "That's not very nice."

"I am not a nice person." Pitch shot back.

April rolled her eyes and hopped off her chair to grab the purple boa on her bed.



Pitch grinned in victory, having won this argument for once. It was hard not to give April what she wanted, but when it came to wearing that, he had to put his foot down.

If the Guardians saw me now. Pitch thought to himself with a shake of his head. If anyone saw him now, they'd wonder just what dimension they'd crashed in to. Pitch Black? The Nightmare King? Arguing with a human child and willingly wearing such girly things?

And a year ago, he wouldn't have done such. If anything, he would sick his Nighthounds on anyone who would even entertain the idea. But April Darling, who for some reason even he couldn't fathom, was different. She was not afraid of him. Did she lack common sense? Was something wrong with her?

To this day, Pitch still didn't know why she didn't fear even the most trivial things a normal child would. He spent weeks trying to find what she fears most - spiders, heights, snakes and even the dark - but to no avail. He was tasked with teaching her the meaning of fear, but still, nothing.

Not that April was too trusting of strangers. She seemed to have a sixth sense, a fantastic intuition when it came to others. It also helped that she had this sort of . . . aura, around her that people couldn't help but fall in love with.

Maybe it was because April was not like other children. She saw and understood things even grown-ups would have a hard time understanding. And somehow, she managed to crack open the shell encasing the Nightmare King and his woes.

"I'm ba~ck!" came a woman's voice from front door.

"Mommy!" April cheered, jumping from her seat. Trapped in his thoughts, it was too late for Pitch to compose himself properly before Lily Darling, April's mother, came into the bedroom and found her neighbor/baby sitter uncomfortably scrunched on April's mini table set, the purple feather boa wrapped around his neck.

"Oh-ho-ho~" Miss Darling giggled, holding her child on her hip. "What has my child done to you now, Mister Lightman?"

Quickly wrestling out of the embarrassing dressing, Pitch cleared his throat and nearly tripped over the table as he stood.

"Miss Darling," he greeted, trying to act as if he wasn't just caught playing tea party.

"Oh, please, dear, how many times have a told you? Call me Lily."

"Perhaps many times more, Miss." April giggled and shook excitedly in her mother's arms.

"Mommy! We watched the superhero movie with Violet, and then we ate popcorn and he helped me with my coloring, and then we played tea party!"

"That's great, my little Honey." Miss Lily giggled. She turned to Pitch with a smile in thanks.

"I hope she wasn't too much of a handful."

"Your daughter is more than just a handful, if only because she reminds me much of my nephew." Pith chuckled. "May I ask, has your date gone well?"

Lily smiled coyly at the thought of her evening. "Oh, yes! It was fantastic! A police officer. Knows how to add a little spice and adventure, if I do say so myself."

Pitch grew uneasy at the woman's smile and shifted uncomfortably. Lily didn't seem to notice, instead tilting slightly to look out the window.

"But I won't bore you with the details, dear, it's almost sundown!"

Yes, the most important time for him to be out of sight of humans. Taking this chance, Pitch hurried towards the front door though keeping himself relaxed and not too rushed. "Yes, yes. I have a strict time schedule for my classes. I'm glad you enjoyed your evening this night, Miss Darling."

"Oh, you are a life saver! April just adores you, but she has so much energy - I don't know how you do it!"

"Yes, well -"

"Let me pay you for the night. Is $40 okay?"

"Miss Darling, we go over this every time. I assure you, that won't be necessary." Pitch said quickly. She tried to pull this every time he looked after April, and didn't seem to give up on trying to pay the man. But of course, he didn't have any need for the money.

"Are you sure? I don't want to feel like I'm taking advantage of you, always looking after my daughter when I ask."

"I promise you, it's not a problem at all."

She sighed, setting April down and telling her to go clean up her tea set in her room.

"Fine." She said curtly before turning with a glint in her eye Pitch was very familiar with. This same trait passed down to her daughter when she was being mischievous.

Escape now while you have the chance! He yelled at himself. But before he could move, Lily already had a firm grasp of his sleeve.

"If you won't let me pay you, then would you perhaps be interested in a date?"

"I'm sorry, what?" Has April's mother lost her marbles?

"Oh, don't look so panicked, dear!" Lily laughed, lightly patting his face. "Not with me! It just so happens that my date has a very beautiful, very available sister."

"Um," Pitch gulped, once again uncomfortable. Slipping his arm out of the woman's grasp he backed toward the door and shook his head. Was she asking him if she wanted to set him up with a mate - or, what is it these humans do in modern times exactly - a date?

"That is very kind of you, but I'm afraid a woman is just not something I seek . . ." He hasn't been with a woman in millenia, if only because being the Nightmare King didn't require such needs!

"Oh," Lily said, a bit taken aback. Then gave another, much different cheshire-like grin. "Should I see if he has a brother?"

"Good evening Miss Darling!" Pitch sputtered out before managing to slip through the tiniest crack of the door and shutting harder than he intended.

Lily Darling stood and folded her arms, pouting.

"Why Mister Lightman leave?" April asked as she looked curiously at her mother. Lily sniffed and twirled her daughter's hair.

"You know how mommy goes on dates?" she asked.


"Well, I think Mister Lightman needs to go on a date too, don't you think?"

April tilted her head and tapped her chin in thought. "Do dates make you happy and you want to do stuff for the person who makes you happy?"

Lily nodded. "Well, if it's the right person, then yes."

April made her decision and nodded back. "Then yes. Lightman really needs a date and fast!"

Her mother giggled at her daughters serious look. "Why do you think so?"

As if it were the most obvious thing in the world April rolled her eyes. "Because maybe they can tell Mister Lightman that he looks prettiest with the pink boa instead of the purple one. Duh!"


Pitch gave out a sigh of relief once he shut his apartment door. Although he had known this for a while, he was once again reminded of how much Lily was just like her daughter. He shuttered at the thought of April growing up. That was not something he wanted to think about - or deal with.

To set him up for a date - ridiculous! He was utterly indifferent to his sexuality on all accounts, if only because he's lived several lifetimes as Pitch Black "The Boogieman" and never gave the idea of a mate much thought. Not to mention he didn't have time for such things. (It also didn't help that no one particularly liked him)

Tossing the thoughts, deeming them unworthy of his time, Pitch hung his coat and made his way out on to the balcony. The sky was set with a soft breeze in the wind. He held out his hand to caress the soft mane of one of his Nightmares, who had appeared and nuzzled his hand with its nose impatiently.

"Settle down, old girl. I'll join you any moment now."

Kieran Lightman was his new name in the mortal world. His actions the previous year had cost him dearly and now he could only do his duties as Pitch Black when the sun finally sets. His hair was different, no longer its gravity defying spike and instead hung carelessly down his high cheek bones, and his eyes were a golden brown that would glow once he set foot into the shadows. His abilities were limited in this lowly form, but it was worth it. April Darling, the one child who believed in him, who cherished him as much as he did her, was now a permanent part of his life. Another reason he couldn't bother searching for another spiritual partner. She was all he needed.

Five seconds before the sun sets. He could feel his body shed the mortal clothing.

Four seconds. His skin tingled, the pale tone darkening into a soft gray.

Three. The Mare lets out a low, almost monstrous rumble in its chest, kicking its front hooves out in front of him.

Two. Pitch can't help but take in a deep breath, a sinister grin spreading across his lips.



The day had been uneventful; fairly routine. Because what ever changed in the life of Amelia Gale?

Goals for the Month of May

- Go outside of apartment for reasons that do not involve taking out the trash or getting the mail.
- Speak to new neighbors
- Go to the store. Buy an updated laptop
- Go to the store. Buy something from regular grocery list
- Turn off lamp for the entire night at least twice

Amelia checked over her list a few more times before being satisfied. She stuck the small, yellow post-it to the wall above her bed and leaned back to admire her work. Yes. Yes, this was excellent. Baby steps she told herself.

Keeping her eyes on the small piece of paper made her nervous. She took a deep breath and turned to face away from the list before she could change her mind. "Out of sight, out of mind." she says. "If I can't see it, it's not so scary now, isn't it, Amelia?"

However, her usual logic didn't seem to work with her this time, her thoughts drifting to the list and creating the worst-scenerios of what may happen. What if she went outside and met . . . people? What if they started talking to her and - Oh, by the Gods, invited her over for dinner? That would lead to friendship. Which would lead to expectations! And then more socializing as she met her new friend's friends!

Now, now, Amelia, she thought sternly.

Compared to last month, these goals were fairly reasonable, weren't they?

As of now, her accomplishments consisted of successfully going outside to get the mail, instead of relying on her kind neighbor to check it for her. And take out the trash! She reminded herself. She didn't wait until the bags stench was no longer bearable before forcing herself to go outside. Now, she was able to take the trash and head downstairs to the apartment dumpster when she needed!

As a result, of course, she put to use and recycled what she could as to keep the garbage to a minimum. But hey, it works!

Amelia suddenly groaned to herself before turning and snatching the hanging marker taped to the wall. She quickly scribbled over Speak to new neighbors and replaced it with Leave new neighbors welcoming present.

Speaking to them was probably taking it a bit too far. Was she trying to give herself a heart attack?

And while she was at it, she crossed out the last item of her list of goals. Turn off the lamp, pfft. Like that was going to happen.

No, no, no. That just won't do. She shook her head, rewriting the last goal under the scribbled-out one. She had to do this. There was no going back now.

The blankets began to get tangled as she twisted and turned, and with a will that was so powerful, she almost felt enlightened by it, Amelia threw the marker across the room and waited until she heard it clatter as it hit the ground.

"No going back now."

Now, for the light.

Taking a long, deep breath, she reached for the bedside lamp and ran her thumb over the off switch.

"There's nothing in the dark," she whispered.

Her thumb twitched. Before she could change her mind, Amelia pressed with all her might, nearly knocking the lamp over in the process as she flipped the switch.


Turn it back on! Turn it back on!

Light once again filled the room.

She could feel her heart pounding in her ears, her eyes wide and her mouth open from the pathetic squeal she called a scream. She looked right, and then left, as if in the split second she was in the dark something had crawled from the shadows.




Back on.

"Come on!" She whined. "I have my pajamas on and I got into bed and everything!"

Squeezing her eyes shut this time, Amelia pressed the button. The warmth of the light disappeared, however, she managed to count to five before nearly knocking over the lamp again to turn it back on.

"Nope!" She pipped. "Not happening! I think that's enough!"

She sighed and lay back down in her mattress, staring at the ceiling she only knew so well. She crawled over to the edge of her bed, where the window lay, and threw open the curtains. Blue light immediately flooded her room, encasing her with comfort.

"I'm making progress, aren't I?" she asked, gazing at the moon with half-lidded eyes. It didn't answer, but it beat talking to herself.

She sighed into the silence, and just when she was about lay back into bed, came a peculiar sound reached her ears. A chiming, almost alarming sound.

Amelia peeked out the window, the streets below empty and the building across showing no signs of awakened life.

"You're just hearing things," She whispered lowly to herself, scooting back with her knees against her chest. "That's what happens when you don't sleep like you should! You start hearing things like -"

Another sound, this time muffled enough to hear right outside her window. Was that a horse?

About to peek through the window again, Amelia stopped herself and shook her head.

"This is the fourth floor! What would a horse being doing outside my window on the fourth floor? Now you know you're going crazy!"

She covered her ears, but maybe that was a bad idea. Because in the next instant, the moon's light was interrupted by a shadow, if only for a brief second. Amelia couldn't even make out its shape on the ground.

"Just a bird. Just a bird."

A reasonable explanation. There were birds in New York that flew in the night, right?

Then there was another. This time, looking much large than a bird. And another. And another.

Close your eyes. If you can't see it, it's not there! Such wonderful logic.

Amelia felt her body tense, her shoulders tightened and her feet free of any blankets to start kicking.

Suddenly, the light of the moon had disappeared. Peaking out from her hair, Amelia could see her window was pitch black.

"Why, you insolent -"

Amelia choked. Did someone just speak outside her window?

"Of course I'm aware of - don't give me that look, you've been out with her too much to be giving me that attitude!"

Yup. She was going crazy.

A hand - pale, long, and bony - pushed through the glass. Followed by an arm, to an elbow to - a whole body!

Amelia, wide-eyed with her mouth gaping open, was too shocked too even move. A humanoid creature she had never seen before, with a black body and gangly arms and spiky black hair, had just fallen into her room.

But that wasn't what set her off. The creature-man-thing lay on his back, rubbing his head from an oncoming headache, groaned and used his free hand to lift himself up into a sitting position. His eyes, glowing in the shadows, were bright and golden and . . . inhuman. The eyes of a demon.

As if her brain had finally connected, Amelia scrambled back, her limbs flailing and her feet slipping with the sheets. She let out a terrified shriek and grasped her pillow out in front of her.

"Please," the creature groaned. "Blasted humans, I have enough of a headache as it is!"

"It speaks!" She squealed. Acting solely on panic, she threw her pillow at the creature, hitting it square in the face. It fell with a loud thump! and a yell of surprise.

"What is - idiot human! Did you just hit me with a pillow?"

"What are you!? What do you want?"

The creature shook its head and lifted like some supernatural being to its feet. He blinking, clutching the pillow in his hands and raising an eyebrow at the girl.

"You hit me!" he gasped, as if surprised by such an action.

"You just broke into my house!"

"Wha -" he blinked once. Twice. "You can see me?"

"Of course I can see you! You just fell through my window!" Breathe Amelia. BREATHE!

"And hitting me with a damned pillow was your first reaction?"

A high-pitched hum erupted from the girl's throat. "I don't like keeping sharp objects around! N-Now begone you-you demon of the light!"

"Demon of ligh- What makes you humans think I am any creature of light?"

The girl looked the monster up and down. His hair, short and spiky, with few strands framing his golden eyes, was black and danced of its own accord like wild-fire. His body was full clad in black material that wasn't like fabric, the sleeves blending with his skin at his wrists where his skeletal-hands emerged. His eyes surely held some meaning, being so bright. Perhaps he'll leave her alone as a demon of light? But he just said he wasn't a demon of light, which could only mean.

"You're not a demon of light?"

The monster glowered, his eyes narrowing dangerously. "I am the Nightmare King, a creature of darkness!"

"Oh," she laughed shakily. "Well, in that case . . ."


A/N: At last! The ending of this dreadful chapter. Ugh.

Well, welcome to the sequel of The Meaning of Fear! Pitch thought his adventures were long over but, nope! He still has a long way to go! Hahaha, poor thing, romance is not an easy thing now, is it?

I'm so excited for this, you guys have no idea and I hope you all enjoy it! Some characters from the first story will be making their guest appearances, along with the Guardians, of course.

So review and tell me what you think and what you look forward to seeing! And tell me where the mistakes I made are so I can fix you - I still don't own MicrosoftWord, so spell check and grammar check aren't as corrected as I'd like.

Thanks! :)